[one_half last=”no” class=”” id=””]Skill Shot celebrated our 7th year of publishing this zine with a pinball tournament and clown party at Shorty’s on September 7th. This was part of the First Sunday Tournament series we have been organizing at Shorty’s for the past year. Since the bar is circus-themed, it was only fitting that we had local celebrity clown Ronald McFondle as our special guest. The twist of the tournament was that the contestants had to wear big clown noses while playing pinball unless they either played one-handed (while holding the nose), or let Ronald paint their face with clown makeup. Many chose the makeup, which was great because we wanted as many clowns as possible at the event! There was naturally some grumbling because the noses were BIG and obscured the player’s vision, but we think everyone had fun. Alex Tada, who opted for the makeup, won the tournament, and Steve Cartoon, who came dressed as the Shorty’s clown mascot, won the amateur clown contest and a PBR LED light box. Clowns!
Levi Dittebrandt was the guest host of October’s First Sunday Tournament, this time with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Contestants first had to play a game of Skee-Ball at the Rabbit Hole next door, where some people won keys that had “special powers” (such as making game changes or do-overs). A later round had a real Cheshire Cat (played by Carl, Nycole’s pet) sitting on top of Metallica, and the final rounds were once again down the Rabbit Hole, on a Family Guy with a “loose tilt.” All of these shenanigans made the tournament run a lot later than usual, so it was a real marathon for those of us who stayed until the end. The long tournament time did seem to benefit Raymond Davidson, as he was able to power through for the win despite having difficulty staying vertical early on. In November we will skip the First Sunday Tournament because we’re hosting the 17th Annual Shorty’s Tournament on the 9th. That’s usually the weekend that 8-Bit Arcade holds their monthly tournament, and they have agreed to trade weekends with us, so look for their monthly to instead be held on the first Sunday in November. Trade!
In other local tournament news: On August 9th, the 8-Bit held their first Annual BBQ Pinball Extravaganza, with an all-you-can-eat BBQ and pinball tournaments for both kids and adults. Around 30 players competed in the main tournament, which had a grand prize of a Big Shot pinball machine, won by Kevin Birrell. The weekly Add-a-Ball Amusements tournament had their largest turnout ever on September 3rd with 47 contestants! With so many participants, weeklies will soon rival the annual tournaments with the amount of World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) points awarded to the winners. Congratulations to Olaf’s monthly tournament organizers Pinheads Pinball for reaching their one-year anniversary! They are taking a short break and then hosting a Stern Walking Dead Launch Party Tournament in November. It’s back to normal after that, we assume. Earlier this year Full Tilt Ballard decided to move their weekly tournaments from Mondays to Thursdays so they could participate in the Pinball Seattle league, which meets on Mondays. But a recent decision by tournament organizers has placed the FTB weeklies on hold for the duration of the Pinball Seattle season. Stay tuned!
Speaking of Pinball Seattle, season 2 of the bar league began in September with a packed preseason scrimmage at Add-a-Ball on Sept 15th. Organizers Geoff Simons and Dave Stewart went over some of the new rules, despite distractions of the large crowd and Blake Mitchell in the dunk tank. Four teams were added to the league this season: Another Castle in Edmonds, 8-Bit in Renton and two teams from Full Tilt Ballard. While this certainly expands the concept of “Seattle,” it’s a team from Full Tilt that has caused the most drama by not having any women on their team. According to team captain Kevin, a few people have given him shit about the lack of ladies on the Cone Heads, so he took to Facebook to dispute the accusations as to why that is. Some people may view women as weaker players (we guess), even though Seattle has a large contingent of strong and experienced female players and many women-oriented pinball events. We think the [/one_half]
[one_half last=”yes” class=”” id=””]real problem lies with the smaller Pinball Seattle teams that can rotate their better players into the matches more often than teams with the maximum of 10, which often include people who are less experienced. Boggled!
The Seattle Pinball League held their annual members-only event at Todd MacCulloch’s house on September 20th, creating a dilemma for some members as it was held the same day as the annual Cascadia Cup tournament in Portland. Most ultimately chose to attend the SPL event that day, including many of the top-ranked players like Robert Gagno (6th), Dave S. (23) and Raymond D. (26), which must have been a relief to many in Portland. A tournament at Todd’s is always special, and this year the highlight for many was a chance to play the new America’s Most Haunted machine by the Spooky Pinball Company. The game looked cool and showcased some neat features, until it started smoking inside and had to be turned off. Thanks, Kayla!
Another thing that had to be turned off was the Girls of Pinball Tourney and Modeling Contest announced back in August and slated to be held at Dorky’s in Tacoma. The internet exploded with disgust as women in particular were offended by a pinball tournament where contestants were not only judged by their scores but also by their “professionalism and interaction with the public,” not to mention their makeup and hair! What if all pinball tournaments were judged that way? Dorky’s owner Caroline Dennewith quickly canceled the tournament once she realized that it wasn’t just a simple breast cancer charity event as she was led to believe. It’s difficult for us to totally disregard the Girls of Pinball guy; he may have his heart in the right place as far as breast cancer prevention. But he really does seem clueless about how women who play pinball feel about the attention he wants to give to their appearance. Looks!
In other Skill Shot news: our revamped website is up and looks great! It’s now decluttered and friendlier for mobile devices, so check it out at www.skill-shot.com. We also have a new t-shirt available! It is a full-color version of our last cover (Party Zone) and comes in black, blue, or red. This is a limited edition and more details are available on our website! If you follow us on Facebook you may have noticed that you don’t see posts by us as often as you did in the past. This isn’t because we’ve stopped posting. It’s a result of FB’s newer policies of not promoting pages as much as before. To circumvent this policy please be sure to turn on the “get notifications” option, which is included in the Like button drop-down menu on our page. Like!
Pinball Tidbits: New arcade Let’s Play Café in Monroe will open any day now; they have begun loading in games and taking employment applications. It’s a huge space and they will have a lot of pins. Check their Facebook page for details. * Chris Johnson’s Silverball Saloon in Greenwood should open sometime soon as well. More details coming? * Nycole recently schooled actor John C. Reilly on how to play TAF at Shorty’s. He was more interested in Carl Slaygan, the pinball cat. * Seattle Pinball Museum recently installed a virtual pinball cabinet that plays Zen Studios among others. This is the company that has created a lot of comic book-themed virtual tables such as Doctor Strange and Moon Knight. * Stern’s new The Walking Dead pin has created the most buzz we’ve seen since they first announced TRON. Look for a good number of them to show up in Seattle in the next month or so. * Short Run Small Press Fest takes place on November 15th and Skill Shot will have a table at the event. Alec from Drop Target pinball zine will also be there! * Add-a-Ball’s Travis Echert was recently in a serious scooter accident. Let’s all wish him a speedy recovery and watch for community support for him at events in the very near future. * Goodbye to Seattle Waterfront Arcade and 2 Bit Saloon, which both closed. * Congratulations to Kevin, who won a TETRIS tournament in the UK, Raymond and Dave, who won tournaments at the Fraser Valley Flip Out, and Cayle George, who won the PAPA 17 tournament! SUPPORT LOCAL PINBALL [/one_half]